Champions Plateau United will start the defence of their Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) title with a short trip away to neighbours, Nasarawa United in Lafia, while Akwa United will host 7-time winners, Rangers on the opening day of the new season scheduled to commence on 14 January, 2018.
This follows the draw for fixtures of the 2017/18 NPFL season held on Sunday in Kano.
In other eye-catching ties on the opening day, former Champions Lobi Stars and Enyimba will lock horns at the Aper Aku stadium in Makurdi while Abia Warriors will welcome last season’s runners-up, MFM FC to the Umuahia Township stadium.
Katsina United, who narrowly escaped the drop last term, will open their campaign next season with a crunchy tie at home against 4-time champions, Kano Pillars while Rivers United will confront El Kanemi Warriors in Port Harcourt in a repeat of last season’s match day one clash.
The four newly-promoted teams; Go Round, Kwara United, Yobe Desert Stars and Heartland have been handed tricky ties on the opening day.
In their very first encounter in the top flight, Go Round would travel to the Tafawa Balewa stadium to face Wikki Tourists, while Kwara United will have home advantage when they take on Niger Tornadoes in Ilorin.
Former champions Heartland have been drawn against Sunshine Stars, a fixture expected to light up the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri, while Yobe Desert Stars have been handed a tough tie against FC IfeanyiUbah in Nnewi.
The 2017/18 NPFL season is expected to kick off on 14 January and end on 30 September.
Full Match Day 1 Fixtures:
Nasarawa United vs Plateau United
Katsina United vs Kano Pillars
Rivers United vs El Kanemi Warriors
Kwara United vs Niger Tornadoes
Akwa United vs Rangers Int’l
FC IfeanyiUbah vs Yobe Desert Stars
Lobi Stars vs Enyimba
Heartland vs Sunshine Stars
Abia Warriors vs MFM FC
Wikki Tourists vs Go Round FC